The role of p53-target genes in human cancer

Crit Rev Oncol Hematol. 2000 Jan;33(1):1-6. doi: 10.1016/s1040-8428(99)00051-7.


The tumor suppressor gene p53 is mutated in a large proportion of human cancers. In some cellular conditions like DNA damage, the p53 gene is induced and its gene product is posttranscriptionally activated. p53 works as a transcriptional activator and induces the expression of its downstream target genes. This review will explain why expression of the normal p53 gene leads to tumor growth suppression. The p53 has several biological effects involving cell-cycle arrest, DNA replication and repair, proliferation, apoptosis, angiogenesis inhibition, and cellular stress response. These effects of the p53 result mainly from the activation of expression of a large number of p53-target genes. Here we have focused on the biological functions of the transcriptional targets of p53.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Genes, p53 / physiology
  • Humans
  • Mutation
  • Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Transcriptional Activation / physiology
  • Tumor Suppressor Protein p53 / genetics*
  • Tumor Suppressor Protein p53 / physiology*


  • Tumor Suppressor Protein p53